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Tears For Fears Album Reviews 4out of 5
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The Hurting

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Tears For Fears were one of the world's biggest bands in the mid-80's with their brand of keyboard-driven pop. This collection of re-releases includes their first three albums after which vocalist Curt Smith departed. Judging by the complete lack of any success since this departure perhaps they should get back together because these albums have dated surprisingly well. This opinion is borne out best on the debut album, 'The Hurting', whose singles ('Change', 'Pale Shelter' and 'Mad World') still sound remarkably fresh today wrapped up in melancholic keyboard textures and depressing sixth-form poetry. Album tracks such as the titular opener and 'Memories Fade' have also stood the test of time well but some of the Roland Orzabal-sung tracks give the feeling that perhaps he should stick to writing and playing and leave Smith to do the rest. The enormously successful 'Songs From The Big Chair' (No. 1 in the US, what Oasis would give for that!) contained unforgettably powerful gems like 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' and 'Shout' and the lesser known but still very good 'Head Over Heels'. However, minus points have to be deducted for some over-the-top arrangements on 'Mother's Talk', 'Broken' and 'Listen' and the somewhat unnecessary close-up of the two main band members on the album cover. Orzabal's growing ownership of Tears For Fears on 'The Seeds Of Love' - Smith only contributing two vocals this time - was beginning to cause the band to sound too bombastic for words at times. Like its predecessor it only contained eight tracks but some of the longer songs are awful; 'Badman's Song' being particularly guilty of this charge. However, 'Sowing The Seeds Of Love' is very good indeed and shows that sometimes big is better whilst 'Woman In Chains' and 'Advice For The Young At Heart' are sung with far more care and attention featuring Smith's vocal contributions. There's a lesson there and it wasn't heeded.
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  Track Listing
01 The Hurting
02 Mad World
Standout Track Pale Shelter
04 Ideas As Opiates
05 Memories Fade
06 Suffer The Children
07 Watch Me Bleed
08 Change
09 The Prisoner
10 Start Of The Breakdown
11 Pale Shelter (Long Version)
12 The Way You Are (Extended)
13 Mad World (World Remix)
14 Change (Extended Version)

Standout Track = Standout Track

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Also Recommended:
Graduate - Acting My Age
Tears For Fears - Songs From The Big Chair, The Seeds Of Love, Everybody Loves A Happy Ending
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